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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Hotel Vermont: 1911

Hotel Vermont: 1911

Burlington, Vermont, circa 1911. "Hotel Vermont." Last glimpsed here. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

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Academic Coincidence

The Bowling Academy at left is where Lewis Hine, the man who made Shorpy famous, photographed two pin boys whose work kept them up late on school nights.

[Coming soon to a website near you! - Dave]

Gift cards, 100 years ago.

To the left of the Western Union sign, a small sign that says "Mileages bought and sold" caught my eye. A little research reveals this phrase appearing in newspapers and photos from around 1900 to 1915. I couldn't find a definite explanation, but based on the context of some of those ads, I think it was possible, at that time, to buy a certain number of miles on a particular railroad - sort of like buying a gift card today.

["Mileages" were the coupons in mileage books, which allowed X miles' worth of "interline" travel over multiple railroads. Below, an excerpt from "The Modern Railroad" (1911), and an example of an interline mileage exchange ticket stub. Selling the remaining coupons to a broker before they expire lets the holder avoid a loss on his unused miles. - Dave]

        In addition to the railroad selling its tickets there are also railroad passenger traffic organizations, half a dozen or more important ones across the country, which are engaged in selling various forms of railroad transportation. In some cases this takes the shape of a mileage-book which may be honored by fifteen or twenty different lines. The book will perhaps be sold for $25 and will permit of 1,000 miles’ riding at a saving over local fares, if the purchaser comply with its provisions. If he has complied with its provisions within the year’s life of the book, he will be paid $5 rebate upon return of its cover which has given him his riding at two cents a mile. Sometimes these books take the form of “scrip” which is silent upon mileage but which has its strip divided into five-cent portions, sold at wholesale, as it were, at a fraction less than five cents each.

Edit, 31 July 2018: Today I learned, thanks! This also jogged a memory of reading one of those signs on the back of a hotel-room door, and seeing "mileage books" as one of the things you were supposed to deposit in the hotel safe instead of keep in your room.

I'm still not quite sure why mileage books aren't mentioned much in publications after about 1915. I did find a law in New York State, still on the books, that requires railroads with fares between 2 and 3 cents per mile to issue mileage books for no more than 2 cents per mile. Maybe as fares went up, the laws weren't updated, and therefore the railroads were no longer obligated to issue mileage books.

Hotel Vermont? Not with a bit of imagination.

I do believe that to be Rick's Cafe with Sidney Greenstreet (Ferrari), wearing his fez hat and just crossing the street to enter as everything magically turns into Vichy-Casablanca of December 1941. Waiting inside, in addition to Rick, are Victor Lazo, Ilsa, Sam, Capt. Renault, Major Strasser and the lovable Carl (Cuddles Sakall). After all, everybody comes to Rick's, though not always for long as Peter (Ugarte) Lorre has already been eliminated.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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